Theo Walcott out 6 months with torn cruciate ligament

Clive Rose

Arsenal and England have been dealt a major blow as Theo Walcott's injury has proven more serious than first feared.

Theo Walcott will miss the remainder of the Premier League season and the World Cup after a scan showed that the Gunneer has a torn ACL in his left knee. Walcott will be out for at least six months, leaving a return for the start of next preseason the best that the Gunners can hope for.

Walcott was hurt in Arsenal's FA Cup win over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday and had to be stretchered off, but the injury did not seem too serious at the time. He was smiling and laughing as he left the pitch, even flashing a 2-0 hand gesture at the Tottenham fans. Most early indications were that Walcott would only miss a month or two, but scans revealed a much more serious injury than first feared.

Arsenal were dealing with enough injuries before Walcott went down and Arsene Wenger was already dealing with questions about whether he would have to buy in January to reinforce his hurting squad. Now he will almost certainly have to if the Gunners want to stay top of the table, although they did well without Walcott when he was out earlier this season. Arsenal won five, drew one and lost one in seven league matches without the speedy Walcott giving the Gunners hope that they can keep their place atop the league without him.

England will have just as big of a hole to fill, with Walcott having been their first choice right winger all year. When he was out in October, Roy Hodgson turned to Andros Townsend on the right and he played well, but he has been on the bench of late for Spurs, raising questions about what kind of form he will be in come the World Cup. With Uruguay and Italy in their group, the Three Lions couldn't really afford any more bad luck, but they, like Arsenal, got some with Walcott.

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